Clare Gallagher and Brian Rusiecki have won the UltraRunning Race Series Overall Ranking for the 2016-2017. The Series applied a formula to score every ultra finisher at every ultra race in the 12 months ending April 30, 2017. Top scores for four races – one at each classic ultra distance – were added to tabulate every ultrarunner’s score. The talented and experienced Rusiecki and Gallagher took different paths to the top of the rankings.
Relative newcomer Gallagher won the Race Series by completing four ultras, one at each distance. The 25 year old Boulder, Coloradan’s dominant win at the Leadville 100 was literally the icing on the cake (Gallagher’s preferred ultra fuel is cake frosting) – she won the women’s race by two hours and was fifth overall. After that win, Gallagher set her sights on Western States for 2017 and ran her way in by earning a Golden Ticket at the Black Canyon 100K where she finished second and posted another solid series score. Gallagher held off fellow Coloradans Courtney Dauwalter and Darcy Piceu to secure her series win. The 32 year old Dauwalter was less than two points back of Gallagher, with a big win at the Run Rabbit Run 100-miler and an overall win at the Javelina 100K among her nine ultra finishes last year. Piceu also raced well – winning Wasatch 100 and the Backbone 100K, as well as the overall win at the Big Foot 120-miler. Joining the talented and focused Gallagher at Western States will be
39 year-old Canadian Neela D’Souza, to whom the Series’ Western States entry drops down. D’Souza finished sixth in the series less than 30 points back of Gallagher, with a speedy win at the Tunnel Hill 100 in 16:20 highlighting her year. (Due to injury, Neela has decided to not run this year).
Ashley Truan of Wixom, MI, to whom the Series’ Western States entry drops down.
Rusiecki won the Race Series by racing well and racing frequently. He completed 14 ultras over the year, and his big wins at Vermont 100 and the Hellgate 100K put him over the top. The 38 year old Rusiecki is arguably the sport’s most accomplished ultrarunner east of the Mississippi, having won over 40 ultras in his career. He held off younger up-and-coming runners in the West to win this year’s series – with Alex Nichols in second and Jim Walmsley in third. Nichols big breakout was winning his first 100-miler in dominant fashion last year at Run Rabbit Run. Walmsley’s score was impacted by him completing only one 100-miler last year – the only race he did not win. All three runners will be lining up at Western States this year. In April Rusiecki completed an ultra race all four weekends and he looks to be prepared for a big race at Western. Although he races mostly in the east, in 2013 Rusiecki entered and won the Cascade Crest 100-miler. Last year’s inaugural series winner Paul Terranova had another excellent year, placing fourth in this year’s series.
Rankings for the 9 North American regions, seven age groups and both genders was also hotly contested – check all the scoring at https://ultrarunningraceseries.com/final-results to see how you stacked up, and if you are in line for one of the prize packages awarded to the top three in every category from Race Series sponsors – 378 prizes in all. If you made the podium please provide your information at https://ultrarunningraceseries.com/dashboard so we can get you your prizes, as well as provide some feedback for us about how your year came together so well.